This year’s Thanksgiving was so different than any years before, and I totally dig it! This was our first vegan + gluten free thanksgiving spread. No Animals harmed and no bellies bloated, yay!
Another difference was the absence of my husband, who was away working this year so I celebrated with a friend and her little guy (born just 5 days after Clover!!). Although I was bummed my husband couldn’t join in, we are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving all over again in Florida next month… so it’s really okay in the grand scheme 😉
The star of the meal was this walnut and lentil loaf!! What a winning recipe from Sisley over at The Pure Life. I paired it with a homemade rich mushroom gravy and it was sooo lovely and delicious. It really gave you the sense that you were having some kind of festive meat. Does that sound appealing? lol… Just trust me on this one! The gravy itself was pretty easy to make- I used no starches to thicken, just purely veggies!!- and it tasted so rich and flavourful, you might even guess it was meat based, but you’d be wrong!
- 2 large portobello mushrooms, or 2 pints of any small dark mushrooms likes cremini or shiitake
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 carrot, small diced or grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste, or roast a pint of cherry tomatoes to add in!
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 tbsp tamari, or soy sauce
- 1.5 cups mushroom stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Saute mushrooms on medium high in a small film of olive or avocado oil until they become golden brown and delicious
- Step 2 Add in grated carrots, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and tomato paste and cook down for just another 2 minutes until fragrant
- Step 3 Add in wine and reduce until dry. Lowering the heat down the medium at this time
- Step 4 Add in mushroom stock, bay leaves, and thyme and simmer on low for 30 minutes
- Step 5 Remove from heat and ladle into the blender. (making sure to remove the bay leaves and thyme first).
- Step 6 Puree on high for 2 minutes until smooth. Adjust seasonings and return to the stove until its time to serve. Enjoy!
A couple other stand outs were the pumpkin cashew cheesecake (find the recipe here) and my red skin mashed potatoes that are so simple and so comforting. You will never need to make mashed potatoes loaded with dairy ever again, I promise!
Creamy Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
- 1 pound small-medium red skin mashed potatoes
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Miyokos)
- 1/2 cup non dairy milk, like homemade almond or cashew milk
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh crack black pepper
- Step 1 Cube potatoes into halves or quarter and cover with cold water in a stock pot
- Step 2 Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat until the potatoes are fork tender
- Step 3 Drain and set aside to let them air dry for 5-10 minutes. This helps reduce some of the water to avoid them being mushy
- Step 4 Add in the remaining ingredients and use a potato masher to combine. Choose your desired consistency and adjust seasonings if needed
- Step 5 *You can always add in more liquid and seasonings as you go, so start with less and work your way up!
Fitting our greens in, I made a hearty kale salad with a fragrant grapefruit vinaigrette. I find making composed salads so much fun when you just treat a few ingredients with extra love, like pickling the onion and roasted some walnuts!
Sadly, not picture because I forgot them on the stove lol, were garlicky broccolini with red pepper flakes. I love this side dish for any occasion but it just rounded out the meal really nicely.
And in all honesty, I reheated some leftover brown rice with lentils and then garnished with balsamic roasted pearl onions- mmm. Who says you can’t repurpose leftovers for the holiday spread?! ha!
All in all, a lovely meal and an even lovelier evening with a fellow mama <3 I am more thankful than ever before and have a never ending list of things I’m grateful for. 🙂